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Jülich Supercomputers Still on Top of the World

Places 4 and 13 in the latest global ranking / World's most energy-efficient supercomputer

[16. November 2009]

Jülich/ Portland, 16 November 2009 - In the decisive global ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers published today two of Jülich's computers are among the leaders. JUGENE, the fastest computer outside the USA, takes place 4, and the computer tandem JUROPA / HPC-FF developed in Jülich is ranked 13th in the world and 3rd in Europe. With the supercomputer QPACE, Forschungszentrum Jülich and its partners present a new energy-saving computer concept.

With its 72,000 processors, the supercomputer JUGENE achieves a top performance of more than 1 petaflop/s (1015 floating point operations per second). Professor Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, member of the Helmholtz Association, was happy to say that "With JUGENE, Germany has taken its rightful place in the world league for supercomputing and simulation." JUGENE is a supercomputer of the IBM Blue Gene /P type and is used for very compute-intensive, complex simulations, for example in materials science, environmental research or particle physics. It was acquired within the framework of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing - an association of national supercomputing centres in Garching, Jülich and Stuttgart funded by the German Federal Government and the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

With their more than 3,200 computing nodes, JUROPA and HPC-FF achieve a top performance of 308 teraflop/s (308 x 1012 floating point operations per second). "Jülich is breaking completely new ground with JUROPA and HPC-FF," said Professor Thomas Lippert, Director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre. "In the JUROPA Consortium, Germany is once again developing its own computers of the highest performance class". Researchers from all disciplines will make use of JUROPA in order to discover how the climate is changing, how proteins are folded in cells, how new semiconductors function or how fuel cells can be improved. HPC-FF will be available exclusively for fusion research. The two computers can be coupled to handle particularly large simulations.

As a prototype, the QPACE supercomputer comes in at place 110 on the TOP500 list and has a computing power of 55 teraflop/s. Its special feature is that it is optimized for energy efficiency and can derive roughly twice as much computing power from a given quantity of electricity than the other computers on the list. It is therefore the hot contender for the number one position on the list of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers – Green500 – to be published in a few days. At the heart of QPACE is the IBM PowerXCell 8i processor.
QPACE was developed by an academic consortium of universities and research centres, also including the German IBM Research and Development Centre in Böblingen, as part of a government-funded research collaboration. Within the consortium headed by the University of Regensburg, key activities were undertaken by the Helmholtz centres DESY and Forschungszentrum Jülich. Other members of the consortium were the University of Wuppertal, the Universities of Ferrara and Milano-Bicocca (both Italy) as well as the commercial enterprises Eurotech, Knürr, Zollner and Xilinx.


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